Did you know that helicopters that flew political leaders and artists several years ago were not from this country?
They were rentals from Kenya and South Africa from which they had to pay three times to afford its services; that means – paying for when it lands in the country, when it operates and when it returns.
These Tanzanians had to grapple with the exorbitant but also pinch prices for helicopter services until when ‘the Guardian Angel’ State Aviation came to wipe their tears with offerings within their level.
Established in 2020, the company is 100 percent locally-owned.
It operates with the aim of helping to achieve the implementation of strategic projects through helicopter transportation services.
The major responsibilities of the company include; transporting staff, equipment, patients, rescuing the injured, and protection in the areas of mining, infrastructure, oil and gas projects.
Also, the company offers helicopter tour services for tourists who want to do quick tours within a short period of time.
The company serves from small clients who rent such services for hours to large ones who enter into long-term agreements with the provider.
Helicopter costs are fixed based on operating costs and the type of helicopter, and State Aviation, has considered people from all walks of life and thus it boasts its tailored rental services for its loyal customers.
The company, which still operates as a startup, works by complying with a set of standards in areas of safety and quality assurance.
Looking at the country’s aviation growth, State Aviation’s Managing Director, Amour Abdallah said that the sector displays all possible growth indicators as there is a drive from the relevant authorities in charge of the aviation industry to encourage investors to take on the sector.
Adding to his point, recalling several years back, Mr Abdallah said that many investors seemed to turn blind eye on helicopter transport services and, instead, splashed much cash on caravans, commercial ATR, bombardier, Airbus services etc.
“I personally see a promising growth trend of aviation, and as State Aviation, we see nothing but prosperity after five years from now, what we are doing is to prepare ourselves to grow together,” he stated.
About World Aviation Day
World Aviation Day, which is celebrated every December 7, is a reminder to stakeholders in the aviation industry, State Aviation included, to continue to adhere to regulations, safety practices and quality services.
The MD elucidates that given the fact that aviation is a significant sector that is relied upon to bring foreign currency to the country through tourism, trade and transportation, safety is no longer a compromise.
That is why the Executive Director of State Aviation has said that this day is important for them as it reminds them to ensure the safety of their passengers, referring to the recent tragic scene of the Precision Air crash.
“We will participate particularly in highlighting how safety is important, especially for those who provide air transport services like us. Unfortunately, all of us who are involved in this industry are reminded of the Precision Air incident, and plane crashes bear greater impacts,” he insisted.
The contribution of aviation to the economy
Mr Abdallah further noted that aviation has a great role in developing the economy and it is way safer than any other. Also, with this, passengers spend a short time while onboard. He substantiates that tourists always prefer air travel as it facilitates touring a number of destinations at a time.
“For the development of strategic projects such as; Julius Nyerere Hydropower Project (JNHPP) it requires transport means like this to move experts or equipment from one place to another.
It facilitates trade between countries and promotes investment more quickly. “There is a pleasant feeling that you get when you fly by plane rather than bus, this is for any human being,” he explained.
The unending pride
He pointed out that before the company started its operations in the country, there was no local firm that was providing helicopter services in the country, so the arrival of State Aviation is a comfort to Tanzanians because the service has been brought closer.
He said that due to the value that the company has added to the business, the money that tourists were to pay to foreign firms for touring services, is retained home, and therefore contributes to the country’s economy.
In addition, the company has been proud to provide rescue assistance to tourists who encounter altitude challenges through their health unit.
“We have been making Tanzania a safe place for tourists to reach through these rescue services,” he noted.
Royal Tour opportunity
He said that as a company they are relieved to contribute to the Royal Tour campaign because they were aware of its prospective results.
The State Aviation boss said that they had a chance to showcase their activities to the Government leaders during that period and that it introduced them to those leaders that Tanzania now has a reliable helicopter service provider.
The company has set up a procedure to charge the Government a subsidized price when it needs to rent a helicopter for its activities because it thinks it has an obligation to be part of supporting the Government’s agenda.
If that is not enough, the company asked to be included in the national disaster committee where when disasters occur the committee can have access to their helicopters and use them for rescue purposes at no cost.
Why should we choose State Aviation?
This company enables the customer to save money that he/she would have to pay more for a service provider outside the country.
Also, he says that the quality of service and safety practices are other things that make the customer choose that company.
Putting emphasis on safety, he/she said that the company has insured its helicopters and thus assure its customers of their safety against disasters.
The firm operates in Zanzibar because of the fact that the archipelago is estimated to take half of the tourists entering the country.
Another thing that drew them there, according to him, is the Blue economy agenda that directly connects the company’s services. He is of the opinion that the agenda cannot be implemented without air travel services, and that is why they decided to make the isles their headquarters.
He said the company has been providing monthly customer service training to all its customer care unit staff.
Secondly, there are exchange programs between that local firm and foreign aviation firms that have made progress in the world where he added that the staff of those companies come to the country every month to share the experience with the State Aviation and vice versa.
“We believe the quality of service lies in the expectation of the customer, and every customer has that perception lingering in their minds that air travel is home to deluxe onboard experiences.”
He says that airlines around the world face a daunting task to ensure that the expectations of customers of air travel services are met.
He says that for his company, the costs of helicopters are higher than airplanes, and against that backdrop, they are struggling to beat preconceptions, expectations and needs of their customers.
He says there is an opportunity for drones to carry air cargo, engaged in agricultural activities (especially aerial irrigation and fumigation in the farms).
Also, he sees further training for air travel service provider personnel as an added opportunity in the sector for learning new things and reducing the dependence of aviation experts from abroad by producing our own.
Call to action
He calls on the Government to come up with a plan to establish pilot colleges so that as a country we can continue to produce our own pilots who will be able to fly these helicopters in this country.
Apart from that, he urges stakeholders of the sector to invest in security systems in order to be able to convince customers of their ability in providing air travel services.